You can ride this trail from either end. If you start from Paeroa you cross farmland for a while but soon you're in the stunning Karangahake Gorge with Mount Karangahake towering above. Tons of gold has been extracted from the mountain and there are many remains of the mining activity dating back to 1875.
It's worth stopping to take in the Windows Walk at Karangahake. It takes an hour and follows an old tramway, goes through mining tunnels and an underground pump house. Take your torch.
Next the trail goes through an old rail tunnel, one kilometre long, cold, dark and scary! It's worth stopping on the bridge when you exit the tunnel to have a look at the vertical sides of the gorge and the road. It's an awesome setting. Notice that the crazy river is flowing towards the mountain rather than away from it!
Before long the trail crosses a road. It's Waitawheta Road and just up it is the beautiful Owharoa waterfall. It's worth a look and a swim.
Next up is the heritage site where Victoria Battery was and the arches of the cyanide tanks remain. Tons of gold was extracted from the hard quartz rock here between 1875 and 1954. Back in the day this was a huge industrial site.
There's a bridge here across the river to Waikino village and the Goldfields Railway, another tourist attraction. It's a little railway line between Waikino and Waihi.
The trail continues to follow the river to Waihi, an interesting historical town, where they are still mining gold.